Saturday, January 15, 2022

Relief and regret - not returning to Tokyo

With equal parts relief and regret - I'm not returning to Japan - (!) - I'm staying in the U.S. while David finishes up his contract in Tokyo. 

In April, we are essentially attempting to move from both Tokyo and New Hampshire, to North Carolina, with no home or car to our name.  It just makes sense for me to stay back here and handle some of these things, even though this is way out of my comfort zone.  Once we decided, I felt an overwhelming flood of relief and even excitement, so I know it was a good decision.   

Still, bittersweet. 

The *sweet* of this is that I don't have to endure the hotel quarantine (jail) followed by home quarantine (house arrest).   Not to mention the grueling flight and airport gauntlet.  Not to mention the stress involved if one of us was to test positive for COVID.  Mind you, I am not saying that I necessarily disagree with Japan's strict  measures.  Only that I couldn't face doing that again.  

The *bitter* is that I didn't realize I was leaving Japan for real, when we left for Christmas.  I didn't say sayonara to any of my friends, and I didn't do things "one last time" like shop at the fabric district, go to this or that restaurant, etc.  There is a list a mile long of what I will miss about Japan.  

So, on to present reality.  I have traveled from Texas to North Carolina, from one daughter to my other daughter.  

I will miss Charlotte in Texas!!  We had so much fun together!  But I'm not that far away anymore which makes me so happy!!  

Here at Noelle and Keenan's in Raleigh, their sweet old cat Isak: 

Another sweet kittie, Dandelion.  There is a third cat, Stuart, but let's just call him scaredy cat because I haven't gotten a photo yet. 

Some reverse culture shock - WHOA.... American pizza... American BIG: 

Reality at the grocery store - but look, the sign is in English and I can read it! 

Rye bread, good lunch meat, Cape Cod chips, etc.  Simple pleasures that I have missed. 

Well.... of course there is also a list a MILE long of what I will miss about Japan.   I think I said that already!  I'm sure I will keep saying it! 




  1. Oh Cynthia! How wonderful - but at the same time I understand why it's bittersweet. I just saw this not in my email, but as I was reading Audrey's blog Quilty Folk, it was in her sidebar listing of "daily inspiration". I'm happy for you! Jan in MA

  2. I can certainly understand the bitter sweet of not returning to Japan. Perhaps, after the pandemic is over, you'll be able to visit once again and do some of the things you missed doing one last time.
    I think you're very brave to take on the responsibilities here in the States so you can both be prepared to be here come spring.
    All that being said, I'm so glad you don't have to endure the quarantines of returning to Japan.

  3. Naturally there are lots of emotions, often mixed, when one is closing one chapter of one’s life and entering another. This looks like a good decision. Wishing you the best as you navigate the changes and I look forward to hearing about them!

  4. Oh my goodness! I was dreading the Japan re-entry process for your sake - so happy to hear you won't have to worry about it! Good luck with getting the wheels in motion for your new home. Some of it will be tedious and frustrating, but the reward will be worth it!

  5. Welcome home. Your posts from Japan were very interesting but the Covid issues a little daunting. Good luck with your house hunting. Hugs

  6. Congratulations! To bad you did not know you were leaving for permanent but it sounds like it will bw wonderful in so many other ways! take care!

  7. Bittersweet, but so rewarding when your husband can join you in three months and you begin the next adventure in North Carolina. Looking forward to see what the future holds for you.

  8. The three months will pass quickly and then a new era will begin. How exciting. I was concerned about the idea of the grueling return w Japan's protocols. The saying farewell is overrated. I took my mom on a goodbye round like that when she sold our family home in Cape Cod and it was just sad, very sad.
    Will you be in charge of finding and buying a house in NC?
    Best wishes!

  9. Wow Cynthia...welcome back. Moving is hard especially when getting back in tough is iffy. Well, welcome to North Carolina anyway, you are just in time for our winter storm xox

  10. Hi Cynthia! I've been enjoying your blog for a few years now and love your quilts and pictures. I moved to the Raleigh area 4 years and really like it. Welcome!

  11. Cynthia puedo entender tu estado ¡alegria/tristeza!
    Vivi esta situation durante muchos años, aunque las distancias no eran tan grandes como EEUU-Japón.
    Suerte en tu nuevo estado, disfruta de tus hijas y nietos.

  12. Gosh, I think we are all surprised at the turn of events. Glad you feel comfortable with being back in the States. It sounds like you have tons to do in the next couple of months. Time will go fast. I'm sorry that you didn't get the chance to say your goodbyes and do some last time things. We'll be anxious to see what's in store for you in North Carolina.

  13. Oh my, I can only begin to imagine how you feel - so wonderful to be home and near so many that you love and everything that is familiar, but sad that you did not get a chance to say your farewells. It sounds like it was a good decision though. Good luck with the move!

  14. Wow! That is a big change. I'll bet your decision leaves you feeling a big weight off your shoulders, though, along with the trepidation about what you need to accomplish in the next few months. Good for you. We faced a big move (CA to OH) 5 years ago, and haven't looked back. It was the right decision and we're so glad to have it behind us!

  15. What a big surprise! I am sure it is hard not having the goodbyes, but there is a less loss maybe? I'm happy excited for you to be back.
    Maybe our paths will even cross one day.
    Welcome Home

  16. So many changes - so fast! I'm so glad you don't have to go through the quarantine regimen again. You'll be busy the next few months but it will all feel familiar.

  17. Ah, I'm sure it is sweet and bitter. But it sounds like it makes sense.
    My brother has been here a long time and was getting ready to return to China and his wife, then omicron hit. Looks like he will be here a while longer. I hope you can get a lot done while you wait for April to arrive!

  18. Oh my, what a monumental decision. I am so happy for you and your family. I'm sure it was tough to decide, but I am also sure you will be so happy for making it. And, I think all your friends back in Japan will understand even though they will miss you. I wish you the very best and hope that we can meet up somewhere in the near future. And, NO I do not expect a monthly mini for a while, but feel free to jump in any time. Have a wonderful day.

  19. Welcome "home"! Bittersweet yes but you get to choose the new home you both will live in for the next few or more years.

  20. I'm so happy for you! So many things to look forward to now that you have decided to stay in the U.S. Looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures as you settle down in NC :)

  21. I'm finally catching up on my blog reading, and after reading this, a lot falls into place where I had questions. I am sure you are relieved on so many fronts, and as you start to get your housing situation in focus, your life will start to be filled up.
    I understand your sadness about the unfinished good-byes, but know you will find a way to make peace with that and/or do some long-distance good-byes. What an experience you had.

    Welcome back to the US!

  22. Wow! What a surprise! I guess for your blog friends it will not really matter whether you are in the States or in Japan except that we will miss your photography of the things you see in Tokyo. Still, it seems lonely thinking that you are on the other side of the Pacific to stay!


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